Henry and I met under circumstances that were at the same time both amazing and clichéd. I was on the floor with seven Maltese-Yorkshire terrier puppies, Morkies as they are called, and had my eye on a sweet female, white with apricot ears. She stayed in a corner timidly, but a little dark coloured male with moxy and an underbite clambered onto my lap, wagging his tail furiously.
He picked me, as they say. The rest, as they also say, is history.
That was over 16 years ago. Henry and I had a wonderful life together. I had had a dog as a youngster but he was the family’s dog, more my brothers’ than mine. Henry was decidedly my dog.
My children had grown up and I was retired for most of his life, so Henry and I were each other’s satellites. I tried very hard not to mother him like a human child, but often those impulses were stronger than I was. For the most part, though, we were just the best ever four-legged and two-legged companions.
And everything I did was better because Henry was there. Trail walks were better, car rides were better, sitting on the patio with friends was better, running on the beach was better, just chillin’ on the couch was better. And for sure, I was a better human being because Henry was there.
There’s no need to recount the particulars of Henry’s death. Suffice to say, his health circumstances were such that I was forced into the decision. It’s the same decision a million pet owners have had to make and a million more will have to do so again. My head told me it was the most loving act I could offer him, but my heart told me I was destroying something I dearly loved.
And although the year since his passing has eased it somewhat, I now know, I will spend the rest of my life trying to reconcile that struggle between my head and my heart.
Rest in peace, my little Henry.